Queen Anne Cottage
Elias Jackson (“Lucky”) Baldwin’s Queen Anne Cottage was constructed in 1885-86, probably as a honeymoon gift for his fourth wife, sixteen- year-old Lillie Bennett. “For a year after she married Baldwin (May, 1884), this little girl was queen of the ranch,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. Lillie’s father, architect Albert A. Bennett, designed the cottage, but the honeymooners apparently never enjoyed its beauty. Lillie and E.J. separated in 1885, and the fanciful house was converted by its owner into a memorial to the third Mrs. Baldwin, Jennie Dexter, who had died in 1881. A stained glass portrait of Jennie stood welcome in the front door and an almost life-size oil painting of her was hung in the Cottage parlor. Both items remain today.
The Baldwin cottage (The designation “Queen Anne” was added in later years in reference to its architectural style.) was the Santa Anita Ranch guest house. Cooking and dining facilities and Baldwin’s personal quarters were located in a modernized 8-room version of the old adobe house found on the property at the time of purchase. Friends, relatives and business associates of Lucky Baldwin, including stars from the Baldwin Theater in San Francisco, partook of ranch hospitality until E.J.’s death in 1909.
With the settlement of the Baldwin estate, Lucky’s daughter Anita (born in 1876 to Jennie Dexter) closed the Cottage and disposed of all furnishings. Fortunately, Anita removed and stored in the Coach Barn such detachable components as the stained glass windows, black walnut doors, marble fireplace mantels, the hearth tiles, and the encaustic tile mosaic entry floor. All of these items, plus original bathroom fixtures and the exterior marble walkway, were returned to the Cottage during the restoration of 1951-53. Refurnishing continues today with appropriate period pieces. The Queen Anne Cottage is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.